Football fans turn out in force to celebrate Sir Tom Finney’s glittering career

University teamed up with PNE Former Players Association to host the charity event

Football fans turned out in force to celebrate the life and career of Preston North End legend Sir Tom Finney at a charity night hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Eric Jones and Peter Higham, two former team mates and close friends of the Preston Plumber, regaled the packed audience with amusing tales of playing alongside one of the world’s greatest ever players.

Peter said: “To pull that white shirt on and run out of the tunnel at Deepdale for the first time alongside Sir Tom was a dream come true. Then to score a hat trick as well was unbelievable. It was a pleasure to play in the same team as the great man.”

The event, which was organised by UCLan’s Creative Communities Group in partnership with the Preston North End Former Players Association, included interviews with Eric and Peter, a screening of the UCLan Honorary Fellow’s ‘This is your Life’ TV programme, a football quiz, hotpot supper and music from acoustic duo Ben Ainsworth and Darren Jackson.

Brian Finney, Sir Tom’s son, was in attendance at the busy event, held in UCLan’s Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema. He said: “I was delighted to be invited to attend the event and it was great to catch up with dad’s former footballing colleagues and listen to them reminisce about the old days playing for Preston North End Football Club.”

Proceeds from the ticket sales have gone to two local charities.

UCLan Honorary Fellow Russell Hogarth, community ambassador and chair of the Creative Communities Group, added: “What a tremendous evening we had looking back at the life and times of Preston’s most famous footballer Sir Tom Finney.

“Former PNE players Eric Jones and Peter Higham had the audience spellbound when reminiscing about the old days playing alongside Sir Tom in the 1950s. It was delightful to see Sir Tom’s son Brian making a personal appearance at the University to support his father’s legacy. On a personal note it was also a very special night for me because I chair the UCLan Honorary Fellows and Sir Tom received his Honorary Fellowship back in 1988.”

From left to right Phillip Parramore, Russell Hogarth, Eric Jones, Peter Higham, Phil Gittins, Ian Rigby and Malcolm Rae

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